I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yuki Katsuragi -- Bohemian (ボヘミアン)

One of those hits that just makes me think of day-glo headbands and hair metal again. Well, I wouldn't say "Bohemian" is quite in that range of music, but the opening screeching guitar for some reason reminds me of Quiet Riot or Big Country (sounds a bit like bagpipes, don't they?). And then there is that rasping bellow from Yuki Katsuragi(葛城ユキ) herself when she screams out "BOHEMIAN!!!"She stood out in a sea filled with cute aidoru.

The surprising thing I found out about her 6th single was that it had been written by Ryo Aska(飛鳥涼)of Chage & Aska fame and composed by Daisuke Inoue(井上大輔). But remembering how the song sounded, I can imagine the lyricist tackling this one as well. Released in January 1983, "Bohemian" peaked at No. 3 on Oricon, and became the 21st-ranking song of the year.

In another cross-Pacific comparison, her voice sounds somewhat familiar to that of Bonnie Tyler (of "Total Eclipse of the Heart"fame). Strangely enough, Katsuragi did cover a couple of her songs: "Sitting on the Edge of the Ocean" and "Holding Out for a Hero".


  1. What a difference a decade makes! Previously, the only thing I'd heard by Yuki Katsuragi was the very traditional folk song "Kiso wa yama no naka" from 1974. I would never have guessed she'd turn into a rock & roller!

    Just found out that another husky-voiced singer, Yuko Otomo, had a crack at "Bohemian" and...yes, it's a natural fit.

    1. Hello, Mike.

      That's quite the revelation about Katsuragi. I only knew her as the growling rocker. From my observations, it seems as if a lot of folk singers during the 1970s went into some very different genres.

  2. Hello, I had the nice chance to meet her and interview her for my radio show and she is a Bonnie Tyler fan for sure. If you have any questions for her let me know and I will pass them on.

    1. Hello, stevyn. Thanks very much for your comments. The only question that I would have for Ms. Katsuragi is a general one, and that would be her opinion on Japanese pop music and its popularity with overseas audiences in recent memory. Would she be pleasantly surprised or somewhat bemused?


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